Swiss Approval Classification Process and «HSTAR» Certificate
Duration of Classification Certificate
Classification management systems should be examined very carefully because, with monitoring and enforcement, their characteristics have a major impact on the functioning (positive or negative) and the quality levels of classification.
The HSTAR certificate has three (3) years validity, and annual audits are conducted.
Main weak point of great number of classification systems is that no monitoring or continuous evaluation is conducted. It’s indeed not useful to build a good or even sophisticated set of criteria if it’s not properly implemented, namely if the control is weak, unprofessional, subjective, or even not monitored. Swiss Approval International classification scheme, through annual auditing and monitoring procedures provides proof of reliability and efficiency of the hospitality service delivery system.
Scope of Auditing process
Quality of service evaluation
The basic problem regarding quality within tourism industry is a mismatch between the expected -based quality and actually provided quality services to the customer.
Service quality was significantly associated with human factors and therefore suggest that an additional element evaluation of service required beyond the existing technical and operational characteristics. This cannot be other than the quality of service must be assessed in measurable and objective way, in order to reflect the overall level of quality provided by the tourist accommodation.
Education / staff behavior
From hitherto International experience showed that the basic problem is the quality of service and not the deficit in infrastructure. The quality of service is directly related to the quality of work and level of employment in the sector. Employees have lost, in most cases, the motivation for substantially enhanced services and invited to respond to a given context infrastructure. But as has been shown in many cases they do not know their duties and are not willing to serve properly their clients. Inadequate training of staff and his refusal to comply with a constantly standardized services, is the main cause of qualitative mismatch as described above.
Customer Safety – HSTAR 1 Certificate, is a must to be qualified as SWISS APPROVAL PLUS STAR
The customer security policy has entered a second level because of everyday life and security issues are not always the first priority for infrastructure planning. The health and safety standards in food processing are not always observed. Certification of absolutely imperative infrastructure, even when expressly provided by the European or national legislation, is not common practice or endearing. The planned exercises in fire safety or other related issues are not systematically implemented. More generally, there is a superficial approach to the safety of clients. The external risk prevention strategy is absent in important areas such as seismic hazard, terrorist acts etc. Swiss Approval, in order to enforce the safety feeling of guests, has introduced the HSTAR 1 certification scheme, for health emergency and acute health care for travellers and guests.
Environmentally friendly – The ECO Hotel Certificate by Swiss Approval
A key sector, which is a strategic development, according to international practice and experience, is the investment in Ecology. The so-called «Green Tourism» with new standards framework, like the adoption of energy saving practices, bioclimatic design or recycling water etc. modern tourist infrastructure, mobilize the tourism market which matures in environmental awareness and policy issues. The introduction of the ECO-label classification or other environmental interest certification systems is an important environmental parameters enhancement tool.
Persons with special needs / Persons with reduced mobility (disabled / PRM)
The creation of accessible hotels, such hotels that have all the facilities that the disabled be self served, is obvious not only sign of civilization, but also as an important investment in the modern tourist market.
Certification – Swiss Approval accredited service
The other forms of voluntary certification management systems, such ISO 9000, 14000, 18000 etc.., also considered important to ensure the quality level of service due to the significant intervention having the standardization of service. The standardization seems to be the key to quality assurance and continuous improvement.
Audit / Evaluation Tool
Because «service delivery» attributes are not «cumulated», and that service is «consumed» at the same time that is «produced», that means quality is directly proportional to the ability of staff accommodation to respond when requested, in accordance with the standards and rules have been adopted by the management. This means that staff has to be aware, has approach to all relevant information and are fully trained. It is then clear that over infrastructure and other resources available, there is of main importance the factor of well trained Employee. In this way it is obviously that different accommodations with equivalent infrastructure, the factor «Employee» creates the qualitative added value of hospitality service.
It is therefore necessary to establish, at a successor sort of what we have today, compulsory assessment of service for hotels that want to differentiate qualitatively from the base class.
This can be done using the tool of «secret visitor» or «mystery guest», with the use of a strong Questionnaire to reflect objectively measurable and the total package of services provided by different departments of the tourist accommodation.
The practice of quality measurement and recording of level of service with the method of «secret guest», is widespread in most cases, and is the most widely accepted way of service classification, since the international classification and certification agencies introduce the evaluation with «secret visitor» as a key instrument for assessing effectively the quality of service delivered in final users.
Swiss Approval International Mystery Guest questionnaire is a tool of 750 topics to evaluate during an unknown welcome of the Auditor, in a tourist accommodations or hospitality structure.
It appears, therefore, the objective need reclassification of hotels in order to try to close the gap between the prescribed and finally received quality of service. The purpose of reclassification is none other than restoring the credibility of Tourism and the tourist product on the international market.
In addition to the above, as shown by research, several hospitality units of the same theoretical class, exhibit higher level services than that corresponding to their category, others move in within their stated capabilities and many others are at a lower level than prescribed.
It is also clear that the current system of classification 5 / 7 stars is too narrow to include an objective all divergences and trends arising. Therefore, an extension of the classification system seems to be imperative.
Swiss Approval International has the expertise and the appropriate tools to evaluate existing hospitality premises regarding their performance related to quality service and customer satisfaction.
The HSTAR Evaluation Certificate is a seal of trust, either for the ownership and guests of the hospitality structure.